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Refugee solidarity activists arrested in Greece freed on bail
3.1.16
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Two activists who were last week arrested in Greece and charged with facilitating illegal immigration were released from preventive detention on Friday 30 December and will have to pay €2,000 within 12 days to obtain permission to leave Greece until their trial takes place.

Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte were arrested last week after eight refugees were discovered in a camper van they were trying to take on a night ferry to Italy from the port of Igoumenitsa in Greece.

They were subsequently accused of facilitating illegal immigration and endangering the safety of the eight people they were transporting due to the space in which they were travelling, but the two activists reject the charges and have said from the start that they undertook the act in protest against the treatment of migants and refugees by the EU and its Member States.

A date for the trial has not yet been set.

An Afghan refugee who was in the van, Rahin, gave testimony at a court hearing on Friday, where he said that "the place were we were had good ventilation and I felt very safe."

Prior to the journey and their arrest, Zuloaga and Huarte made a video explaining their intentions in which Zuloaga said:

"We declare publicly that we have illegally transported refugees… We obey human rights and openly disobey European governments that have converted the frontiers into spaces of death, detention and dehumanisation for thousands of people… While governments continue breaching human rights and fail to fulfil their scrawny quotas [for relocating and resettling refugees] social organisations, the citizenry and people of good faith have the right to disobey by bringing refugees and making the Basque Country a land of welcome."

Source

Zuloaga y Huarte, en libertad bajo fianza, Noticias de Álava, 31 December 2016

Background

Two arrested and charged with "facilitating illegal immigration" for refugee transport effort denouncing EU policies, Statewatch News Online, 30 December 2016

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